Some interesting news was forwarded to me today about the launch a few weeks ago of ACQUEAU. This particular initiative seems to sit very squarely within our innovation-promotion remit here at Waterstink. According to its website it’s ‘industry driven‘, ‘dedicated to water related technologies and innovation‘ and aims to promote ‘innovation and market driven solutions to develop new technologies in the European water sector‘. ACQUEUA is also one part of the EUREKA ‘R&D platform’ initiative within Europe.
There’s some indication on the website that ACQUEAU is intended to cooperate with – or compliment, as appropriate – the existing Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform (WSSTP) and related ERA-NETs (these aim to harmonise public research funders’ practices and priorities in particular thematic areas throughout Europe, sometimes in partnership with relevant industries).
Looking at the current ACQUEAU flyer, five priority areas have been identified so far:
- Low enviromental impacts for disinfection and oxidation;
- Low energy wastewater treatment;
- Membrane technologies;
- Real-time system management; and
- Materials for pipes and coating.
These are areas we’ve researched and written about in the past as high priorities. So it’s good to see them highlighted within ACQUEAU. There are also nine ‘technological and working areas‘ that will be pursued, according to an executive summary document also found on the current website. These nine areas are arranged around the water cycle:
- Water resources – protecting water resources and prevent damages to the environment;
- Water treatment – anticipating emerging quality issues and protecting public health;
- Water distribution – optimising the cost of managing water;
- Customer – safeguarding consumers’ trust and confidence towards water;
- Agriculture – achieving sustainable production while protecting water resources;
- Industry – ensuring a sustainable use of water in industrial processes;
- Urban drainage and wastewater collection – preventing foul water flooding and avoiding inconvenience to the population;
- Wastewater treatment – changing from a consuming industry to one producing resources; and
- Bio solids and other sludge – turning sludges and biosolids into resources for tomorrow.
ACQUEAU also has a promising membership. There are 15 countries involved (the UK – leading, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Poland, Slovenia, Slovaquia, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands – plus the EU as a whole), a range of other interested countries, and some key companies too. Already there’s also a call for projects due to be issued. This will happen next month, on the themes of membrane technologies and real-time system management.
Seemingly then there’s a lot of good stuff in ACQUEAU. It will be interesting to see how successfully funds and projects are mobilised to achieve the initiative’s stated aims. I am heartened by the fact that the initiative seems to build on good work that’s already been going on – and involves some key innovation advocates I’ve met in the past. It does appear – although it is early days yet – more proactive than previous efforts. It already has a more positive feel to it than, for instance, my rather negative experiences with the more ‘talking shop’ style of the WSSTP in the past.
I’ll post back if I hear any more ACQUEAU-related news, in the coming months…
Update (15/11/2016): Featured image of ACQUEAU added from this source.